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The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1996


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Absolute and conditional discharge

4.—(1) Where a court by or before which a person is convicted of an offence (not being an offence the sentence for which is fixed by law) is of the opinion, having regard to the circumstances including the nature of the offence and the character of the offender, that it is inexpedient to inflict punishment, the court may make an order either—

(a)discharging him absolutely; or

(b)if the court thinks fit, discharging him subject to the condition that he commits no offence during such period, not exceeding 3 years from the date of the order, as may be specified in the order.

(2) Before making an order for conditional discharge the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language that if he commits another offence during the period of conditional discharge he will be liable to be sentenced for the original offence.

(3) Where, under this Part, a person conditionally discharged under this Article is sentenced for the offence in respect of which the order for conditional discharge was made, that order shall cease to have effect.

(4) The Secretary of State may by order direct that paragraph (1) shall be amended by substituting for the maximum period for the time being specified in sub-paragraph (b) of that paragraph, such other period as may be specified in the order.

(5) Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed as preventing a court which discharges an offender absolutely or conditionally in respect of any offence from making an order for costs against the offender or from making an order under Article 11 or 14 of the [1994 NI 15.] Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 (power to deprive offenders of property used, or intended for use, for purposes of crime and compensation orders) or under Article 8 of the [1980 N1 6.] Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 (driving disqualification where vehicle used for purposes of crime) or under section 27 of the [1969 c. 16 (N.I.).] Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 (restitution orders).

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